Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Tesla Delivers First Batch of Model S Electric Sedans

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the have-you-considered-our-undercoat-treatment? dept.

Transportation 311

After years of tantalizing pictures and promises, on Friday the first 10 Model S sedans left Tesla's Fremont, California factory. This first handful of the new S has long been spoken for, and the cars have been delivered (or are on the way) to buyers around the U.S. Even with tax-supported subsidies, the new sedan isn't cheap: the subsidized base price is just under $50,000. Still, 10,000 people have put down five grand apiece for the chance to own one. Wired has a brief piece on what the S is like to drive. What's a 160-miles-per-charge, $50k car worth to you?

cancel ×

311 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Well (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40420705)

I suppose a $50,000 ANYTHING would be worth about $50,000 to me. Give it a year and I'm sure that will change drastically.

Willingness to pay may be higher ... (4, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421093)

I suppose a $50,000 ANYTHING would be worth about $50,000 to me.

Actually its more complicated than that. The car may be worth significantly more or less than the amount paid to an individual person. The car itself may only be worth $40,000 to a person but something else, say greening their image, may be worth $10,000+. One the other hand the car may be worth significantly more than $50,000 to an extremely environmentally conscious person, so this person essentially thinks its a deal. Yet another person may also think it is worth significantly more because they added up the price of the components and found a higher number, appreciate the taxpayer subsidy, and want to purchase now before that subsidy goes away - say due to a change of political administration.

In short, prices do not always match a person's willingness to pay, a more technical phrase for what its worth to person. A price generally needs to be at or below that willingness to pay. Apple sold a bunch of iPhones at $600 when it was introduced. Those people who thought an iPhone was worth $600 paid less than that when newer more capable models were introduced at $500 and then $400.

Give it a year and I'm sure that will change drastically.

Again, that depends. Back to that government subsidy. If the subsidy is removed and the price for a new car goes up then the used car may retain its value to some degree.

If you`re buying one of these . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420735)

. . . $50,000 is probably chump change for you anyway.

A neat toy to park next to your DeLorean.

Re:If you`re buying one of these . . . (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420761)

$50,000 is chump change given the market they're targeting; it's well in line with the purchase costs of similarly-outfitted gassers and it costs a hell of a lot less than the German models. If their build quality is somewhere in between typical American shit (Even the Ford GT famously has flimsy interior, and it's the most expensive American production car ever AFAICT) and a decent kraut kan then the price is eminently reasonable.

Re:If you`re buying one of these . . . (4, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420981)

Note this is for the base model. The top end gets closer to a conventional combustion vehicle for not much more than a higher end sedan, and the car performs like a high end sorts sedan. This price is actually one of the better ones out there considering its capabilities, and it's capable of traveleling farther than most electrics on the market at the high end (300 miles per charge).

0 to 60 times in 5.7 seconds.

Not bad at all...

Re:If you`re buying one of these . . . (5, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420909)

Same price as a BWM, Mercedes, Nice SUV, etc. The only difference is that the Tesla costs a fraction of the price to own and can outperform most of those cars.

Re:If you`re buying one of these . . . (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421247)

But... you're not getting a BMW or a Mercedes. Comparing American cars to the best from Europe is dishonest; you don't get the same quality of engineering or construction. American vehicles are famous worldwide for boat-like handling, cheap plastic interiors, and low build quality.

Re:If you`re buying one of these . . . (4, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421329)

Then you should read the reviews, esp. the second link on the original posting.

S? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40420741)

Does the S stand for Shocking or Smoking?

To streamline future posts (5, Interesting)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420743)

"What's a 160-miles-per-charge, $50k car worth to you?"

Just to save some time and energy for posts to come. Yes it's over 20K so you aren't interested.

Why can't they make one for under 20K? Batteries are too expensive.

160 miles isn't enough? It wasn't made with you in mind.

Gasoline suits me fine! Then be prepared for $5 and eventually $10 a gallon. Oil is running out and it will happen eventually. If you get solar panels to recharge from the cost of sunlight never goes up and the trend is for solar panels to get cheaper.

Re:To streamline future posts (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40420869)

This message has been brought to you by: The oil industry.

Re:To streamline future posts (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420877)

$30,000 will buy a LOT of gasoline.

Note that this is the case whether you buy it for yourself or whether some line worker at the Tesla plant does. Money is directly proportional to energy consumption, which means that the amount you spend will inevitably be proportional to the amount of CO2 put into the air. If you are afraid of that, then you need to spend less money, not more. If you don't care, then you must consider the other pros to this vehicle, of which there aren't many.

If you are worried about oil running out, and not being able to get a vehicle like this when it does, then you have bigger problems than transportation, and your priorities are totally crazy. You should be moving to the country and planting crops, not spending $50,000 on a car that will just be stolen from you in a peak oil zombie apocalypse.

Re:To streamline future posts (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420963)

Within my lifetime, gas has gone from .23/gal to 4.00/gal. If we are going to repair roads, etc. I suspect that we will need to double taxes. That will mean that we will within a couple of years pay around 6/gal, and I would not be surprised to see us approaching Europe levels of oil prices.

Re:To streamline future posts (4, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421109)

Within my lifetime, gas has gone from .23/gal to 4.00/gal. If we are going to repair roads, etc. I suspect that we will need to double taxes. That will mean that we will within a couple of years pay around 6/gal, and I would not be surprised to see us approaching Europe levels of oil prices.

First, the roads were built with the current gas taxes. Why would we need to double them to maintain the roads?

OK, let's assume gas is $6.00/gallon.

$30000/6=5000 gallons of gas.

At 20 miles per gallon, that's 100,000 miles, or the typical life of an American made car.

How many miles do these batteries last, anyway?

Doesn't matter, if you are buying one of these to save money, you are making a mistake. If you are buying on of these to save the environment, you'd be better off buying a Honda Civic and spending the $30,000 planting trees or something.

Re:To streamline future posts (4, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421233)

Add in maintenance costs on ICE engines. Add in oil changes. And in the fact that society subsidizes the pollution from these (and will likely be changed by 2020) and it becomes obvious that batteries are at about break-even.

Now, a tesla model S has higher performance than most cars in the same costs brackets. And have you seen the vehicle. Beautiful. Basically comparable or better quality than German or Japanese cars.

By 2015, the model S is expected to drop to around 45K without subsidies. Likewise, they will have their sub-30K car out there. I was told that it would get around 120-150 miles/charge and have 0-60 of around 6 secs or less.

Point is, I will take that. This is no different than what happened with Ships, Trains, ICE Cars, Aviation, and now space.

Re:To streamline future posts (2)

Teancum (67324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421427)

There are also maintenance costs for electric vehicles as well, not the least of which is maintaining the lubrication of the chassis (that doesn't change regardless of its being electric of gasoline), tires, and some consumables including stuff like the AC system and other components with movable parts. By far and away the largest expense with maintenance of electric vehicles is the replacement cost of the battery pack though, which Tesla earlier said had about a five year lifetime.

Perhaps you are the type of person who doesn't mind dumping cars every five years for a new model, so that may or may not be a big deal, but it is a part of the cost. I don't know the exact cost for the battery pack on the Model S (or the Roadster for that matter), but I'm pretty sure it is in the 5-digit range (aka about $10k-$30k roughly). When computing costs it is something you definitely need to consider in the equation. The cost of the battery pack may have gone down somewhat, but considering that the standard Li-ion battery that Tesla is using for its battery pack is already at commodity prices (very dependent upon the raw material costs and not so much on manufacturing costs), I don't expect to see a huge cost saving there any time soon.

For myself, I think electric automobiles are cool by themselves and have a number of advantages over gasoline vehicles that more than make up for the difference in price even if everything else stays the same. That electric vehicle manufacturing makes reducing highway noise levels a matter of civil engineers rather than mechanical is a huge bonus.

Re:To streamline future posts (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421417)

Why would we need to double them to maintain the roads?

A) Inflation

B) Renovation always costs more than new construction. It's actually more of a bother to rebuild an Interstate than to construct a new one.

Re:To streamline future posts (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420991)

Ah but nobody wants to say that the solution involves getting rid of high density urban nastiness as the requires a net reduction in population.

Re:To streamline future posts (4, Interesting)

Immerman (2627577) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421229)

Or we could, you know, move toward public transportation in big way - it absolutely excels in high-density urban areas. Want a fast conversion without a lot of expensive infrastructure? Simply set aside one lane on every multi-lane street as a dedicated bus lane and then make sure the drivers stay on schedule (via carrot and/or stick). The resultant increase in both bus speed and automotive congestion would instantly make buses considerably faster, cheaper, and more convenient than cars, strongly incentivizing their use. They technique has proven quite popular pretty much everywhere it's been done, after the initial adjustment period has past.

Re:To streamline future posts (3, Insightful)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421241)

Umm. High density urban living has a much lower ecological footprint than low-density sprawled living.

With high-density urban living with good rapid transit, most people could get by without a car and rent one for the occasional weekend holiday or renovation project.

Re:To streamline future posts (5, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420893)

Let me get these out of the way as well.

I put $5K down 2 years ago. Yes, its expensive, but no more than a mid-level Audi or BMW (I love the S4 as well as the M5, respectively). I make over six figures, and have for the last several years, so I've already put a large downpayment aside and can easily afford the $400-500/month payment.

I wanted a luxury car that was all electric and could hold my myself, my wife, and my on-the-way kids. It also needed to be usable by my wife for errands, driving the kids around, etc.

I would buy this car even if gas was $2/gal. Someone has to eat the R&D costs for the price to drop for everyone else.

Re:To streamline future posts (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40420949)

I wanted a luxury car that was all electric and could hold my myself, my wife, and my on-the-way kids.

Because you looked at the world and the happiness level of most of the people in it, the resource availability, what happens when China adds another 1 billion who want to consume like Americans, the trend of Western nations of heading toward gradual fascism, the acidification of the oceans, etc., and said to yourself "you know, 7 billion humans on this planet just isn't enough - I am going to add some more!"

I'm glad you are financially stable but you know you're selfish, right?

Gosh, you really hate nice people, don't you. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421035)

"when China adds another 1 billion who want to consume like Americans"

Pro tip for you. Stop consuming like americans. Europe have a better standard of living and have half the amount of CO2 use per capita.

And before you whine about all the size of the USA, remember: YOU DON'T FRIGGING LIVE IN THE WILDERNESS.

Where the fuck do you think one of the worlds biggest and most populous cities exists???

Population density is much higher even on average than Finland which use much less than the European languages DESPITE living so far north they have to pipe sunlight to the country for months at a time.

Re:Gosh, you really hate nice people, don't you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421151)

Where the fuck do you think we grow food at? How the fuck do you think it gets shipped around the world, much less across the country?

But to answer your question I think it exists in China.

Solar panels will get more expensive (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40420895)

"the trend is for solar panels to get cheaper."

That's a short-sighted fantasy. It takes energy - LOTS of energy - to makes solar panels. Mine the materials, transport them 100s or 1000s of miles, melt and refine them, form them into panels, enclose them in other high-energy-cost materials (glass, aluminum), and ship them to your Tesla S garage. As energy costs start to ramp up exponentially all of those costs will follow, and the cost of solar panels with them.

Re:Solar panels will get more expensive (2)

Barsteward (969998) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420943)

yes, but IF all the energy used is renewable, its not an argument for not doing it. If its all gas, coal etc energy to produce them then it can be an argument. High cost materials are irrelevant if they are produced with renewable energy

Re:To streamline future posts (5, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420951)

You missed so many points.
Tesla is starting high-end and going towards low. In 2014, they are expected to introduce their sub 30K electric car. Unlike the garbage that is out there, it will likely be a 4 seater, and have decent performance and torque (i.e. 0-60 under 6 if not 5) and a range of around 120 miles.

If 160 miles is not far enough, then for 10K each bump, you can change to 220 or even 300. With the 300 mile range, you also get the improved motor that will drop your 0-60 in the 4's. However, if you can not afford, then you are right. Stay with a gas car or wait another year for a Natural Gas car. For now.

Sigh. Most ppl drive in the day times. So, installing panel do little for you, unless you have one that works based on night time charging. Regardless, electricity is less than $1.00 per gallon of gas equivalence (for most of USA, it is .80-.90).

Very little maintenance costs.

Re:To streamline future posts (-1, Troll)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421025)

If you covered the entire property of a typical single-family home with solar panels (*all* of it, not just the roof of the house/garage), you still wouldn't be able to take in enough energy to charge a typical eCar in under a week. While solar is fine as a subsidizing power supply for a very efficiently set up home, it is not feasible to charge eCars from solar unless you can literally dedicate acres to solar cells.

It's basic physics and energy that's your enemy, not some "hidden agenda" by the oil companies.

Re:To streamline future posts (2)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421347)

If you covered the entire property of a typical single-family home with solar panels (*all* of it, not just the roof of the house/garage), you still wouldn't be able to take in enough energy to charge a typical eCar in under a week.

What are you talking about? The Chevy Volt charges from empty in 13 hours [gm-volt.com] on a 120V circuit pulling a bit under 1KW. Its range on that charge is about 40 miles. Generating 1KW is easy - here [cnet.com] is what it looks like - those plug straight into your existing outlets using built-in circuitry. Of course, people drive very different miles per day and live in different places, so I'm not saying it's currently feasible for most people. (I happen to live in New Mexico and have an 18 mile round-trip commute). But what you said is a big exaggeration.

Re:To streamline future posts (3, Insightful)

MadShark (50912) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421415)

I think you should go back and do some actual calculations. About 30 seconds of googling tells me that standard, commercially available solar panels for making roughly 700 kWh a month would cover about 400 square feet. The combined area of my garage and relatively small house is over 2000 square feet.

The battery back on the base Tesla S is a 40 kWh battery pack. With a 400 square foot system, it should produce enough energy to charge a Tesla battery pack about 17 times in a month. That should get you about 2500 miles in a month.

Seems like plenty of room on my roof to charge an electric car, if I wanted to. I would just need to solve the problem of my car not being there during the day when the panels produce most of their energy.

Re:To streamline future posts (2)

joe_frisch (1366229) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421105)

The range limit is a big problem because it means you need 2 cars. Even if only a small percentage of your trips are over the 160 or 300 mile limit, you still need to take those trips. You could rent a car for long trips, but one of the points of LUXURY items is reducing the amount of time you waste. Even ignoring the cost, many people don't have space to park 2 cars per person. (or even one per person, and a spare).

It is a bit cheaper (maybe X2) to operate than a gas car, but the difference doesn't cover the difference in purchase costs over the lifetime of the car.

The total life cycle emissions relative to a hybrid would be an interesting study. The answer would probably depend on where you were operating the Tesla and how the marginal additional energy is generated.

A plug-in hybrid might be more interesting, electric for the commute, but with unlimited range if needed for the occasional long trip.

All that said, anyone who wants one is welcome, it makes as much sense as a bunch of other high tech toys.

Re:To streamline future posts (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421299)

Even if only a small percentage of your trips are over the 160 or 300 mile limit, you still need to take those trips.

For this reason, the car really needs a generator set powered from gas or diesel that you can plop in the trunk to extend your range. You wouldn't have to use it most of the time, but for long trips, or trips *near* the elec range limit where you started to run into some serious range anxiety, you could have it there.

Maybe this exists? I haven't followed the Teslas so I don't know...

Re:To streamline future posts (2)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421339)

Why do you need two cars?

Surely you can just rent one if you need to take a long trip. If you need to make long trips more frequently than renting would be feasible then an electric car is not currently for you.

Re:To streamline future posts (0)

MrRobahtsu (8620) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421179)

With oil running out, why would you want a car like the tesla that requires more of it than a regular gasoline car?

When I have a micro nuclear power plant in my neighborhood, then I'll be interested in a Tesla.

miles per charge? (2)

NortySpock (1966236) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420767)

Summary says 160, Wired says 265. What gives?

Re:miles per charge? (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420807)

265km ?

Re:miles per charge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40420855)

No:

160 miles = 257.49504 kilometers

Re:miles per charge? (4, Informative)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420813)

There is a battery upgrade option. Wired is talking about the larger battery

Re:miles per charge? (1)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420835)

There are a range of battery options $50k buys you 160 miles per charge*, $70k for 265**. The only one shipping now is a pimped out $98k variant of the big battery one.

* Tesla's claim
** EPA's measurement

Why can't they extend the range? (2, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420775)

It doesn't need to do 0-60 in 5.6 seconds. It does need to go further on a fully-charged set of batteries.

Why the hell do people obsess about 0-60 time? How often do you ever accelerate flat out from 0 to 60?

Re:Why can't they extend the range? (4, Informative)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420809)

The cars with the larger battery options can go 300(reviews say 265) miles on a charge, and can be charged at up to 62 miles per hour of charge. That's pretty decent

Re:Why can't they extend the range? (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420901)

See, that's getting there. It still wouldn't get me to my mum's house and back in less than a weekend, but it's getting there.

Re:Why can't they extend the range? (2)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421039)

And no car will get me to my mum's because I live in a different country. It's all a matter of perspective... and they have these wonderful things called phones and now "Skype" which means you don't need to visit as often...

Re:Why can't they extend the range? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421269)

Well that's good then right? Now you have a convenient explanation for why you never visit...

Re:Why can't they extend the range? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40420819)

People obsess about it because it enables fun. Driving fast is boring and often times illegal; acceleration (which includes cornering and braking) is where the action is.

Re:Why can't they extend the range? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421217)

Driving fast is boring and often times illegal

I don't know, but I have plenty of fun driving at >200kph. (And not, it's not illegal over here.)

Re:Why can't they extend the range? (2)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420857)

0-60 times are a by product of it being an electric car with high torque. How would increasing 0-60 times extend the range? It's just like a gasoline car. If you floor it 0-60 every single time your MPG drops. If you gently accelerate your MPG increases.

Re:Why can't they extend the range? (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420913)

It could use a less powerful motor, and concentrate on 50-70mph acceleration by picking more appropriate gearing and motor drive characteristics.

Re:Why can't they extend the range? (2)

Zeussy (868062) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421021)

I don't think you understand how electric motors work/forces accelerating a car work

Acceleration is a product of power, not torque. (At this point someone will shout F=MA, or A = F / M). I am talking in terms from the engine/motors perspective.

With the right gearing I could produce with a hand crank the same sort of torque at the wheels that any car engines does, but I would not be able to accelerate a car from 0-60 in 5.6 seconds. I simply don't have the power (torque * rotational speed). Using a less powerful electric motor, with different gearing won't make up for the loss of power. Electric motors are power constant devices, rather than torque constant like a traditional dinosaur burner, that is why electric cars don't have a gearbox, and just have a torque converter.

Re:Why can't they extend the range? (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421249)

1) Find me the torque curve of an electric motor.
2) You don't get something for nothing the more gearboxes you go through the more losses you have
3) Just.. No. "Torque constant" devices? Have you seen the torque curve of an oil burner? They seem to get rather shallow around 0 RPM.
4) " I am talking in terms from the engine/motors perspective." So motors don't follow the rest of the laws of physics?

Putting a smaller motor on there would not increase battery life magically.

Re:Why can't they extend the range? (2)

Zeussy (868062) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420925)

The 0-60 time is more to do with electric motors producing peak torque at 0 rpm. In top trim according to wiki the Signature performance version produces 310kW (416hp) and 600 Nm! (443 fb-lb) of torque. To put that back into petrol engines, a naturally aspirated engine getting 100 Nm per litre is quite a feat. So this motor is producing the same sort of torque as a well tuned 6 litre V8.
Electric motors compared to a normal engine has very little friction and other overheads. I can't really see how fitting it within an motor with half the power/torque would actually save much in battery, a powerful motor does not necessarily mean its inefficient at low power settings. Being lead footed in the Tesla S is going to do the same to your economy as being lead footed in a BMW 3 series or Cadillac CTS. At least the Tesla S can recover some of its spent energy with regenerative braking techniques. Bare in mind, this is an expensive luxury car, and it needs to compete with those other sports/luxury sedans in it's market.

Re:Why can't they extend the range? (2)

Immerman (2627577) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421319)

Actually being lead-footed in a Tesla will do far less to your efficiency than in a gas-powered vehicle. Combustion engines typically have very poor efficiency at low rpms, so you'll spend far more Watt-hours worth of gasoline to generate a Watt-hour of kinetic energy until you get into the relatively narrow "optimal efficiency" power band. An electric motor on the other hand will generally have a fairly constant conversion factor regardless of speed, typically around 90% or so.

Re:Why can't they extend the range? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421473)

In addition, if doing electric, you have regenerative braking to get back some of your energy. OTOH, with a truck in stop/go, you get a higher maintenance cost in brakes or transmissions.

Re:Why can't they extend the range? (1, Insightful)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420939)

How often do you ever accelerate flat out from 0 to 60?

Way more often than I go over 200 km in one trip. They need to drop the 0-60 time back into the low 4s range like the roadster, and halve the range if need be.

Re:Why can't they extend the range? (1)

becker (190314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421087)

Rapid acceleration is a prominent advertised feature of electric because it's relative easy. Better performance comes along almost automatically once you put enough batteries in to get acceptable range, with impressive performance when you have reasonable range.

If you keep the battery structure the same, doubling the range also doubles the available instantaneous power from the battery. And electric motors are mostly thermally limited -- you can put 10x or 20x the continuous current into a small motor for a few seconds, until the wires melt (really until the resin bonding the coils starts to break down). This combination means that even a slow car with short range can feel like a muscle car for a few seconds.

Of course you can go too far. We bought a used motor for our EV project that had (undisclosed) spun the rotor on the shaft. Now that it was loose, it would slip again under load when hot. Based on the length and diameter of the press fit section of the shaft it was putting out many hundreds of horsepower when it broke loose the first time.

Why the hell do people obsess about 0-60 time? (2)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421239)

Why the hell do people obsess about 0-60 time?

Because one of the things that contribute to bigger less efficient combustion engines remaining popular is performance. The electric car vendors are merely pointing out that high performance cars do not need to make loud vroom vroom noises. Its an important part of marketing to educate the public that electric vehicles can be "race cars", that going green does not necessarily mean sacrificing performance and fun.

Amazing electric car, but (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420791)

Holy fuck get rid of that Ipad in the console and give me analog controls!

Re:Amazing electric car, but (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420825)

I'm guessing analog control use more on-board power.

Re:Amazing electric car, but (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420897)

Analog controls use no power at all (unless they have an indicator LED, which would be nearly trivial power consumption). The only case I can think of where an analog control would consume power would be a potentiometer that gets warm when set at high resistance.

Re:Amazing electric car, but (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421095)

no one uses power pots anymore. pots don't 'get warm' anymore.

especially at high resistance! lol

pots are control items and they might send low current levels of voltage to an a/d pin on a controller, at best. usually, UI elements are rotary encoders and not even real pots, anymore.

Re:Amazing electric car, but (2)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420979)

This is now cheaper and easier. And I prefer the Linux console that it has. Go to your local dealer and try it. Very nice.

Re:Amazing electric car, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421453)

nonsense, LCD displays are great in the dark!, its a good job its not sunny in Cali... oh wait.

It is worth... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40420829)

Zero.

Cost per charge (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420861)

Do they have an equation, given a specific kWh cost (which varies by region), that shows how much it costs to charge the various sized battery packs? The charging process isn't 100% efficient so there is some amount of loss. That is really the bottom line number people want to know - how much does it cost per mile in electricity to operate.

Right now with gas prices dropping to below $3 a gallon in my area, a Prius operating at 50 MPG costs 6 cents a mile in fuel. How does the Tesla compare?

Re:Cost per charge (4, Informative)

WalksOnDirt (704461) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421053)

Right now with gas prices dropping to below $3 a gallon in my area, a Prius operating at 50 MPG costs 6 cents a mile in fuel. How does the Tesla compare?

I make it as about four cents, assuming you pay the national average for power. But, a Prius is not the proper comparison. A BMW 5 series is about right. Really, the question is whether the quiet ride and performance is worth the lack of range - fuel costs don't matter to these people.

Re:Cost per charge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421389)

Have you tried the charging calculator on their site? http://www.teslamotors.com/models/charging/#calculator

Environmental Impact? (2, Insightful)

Angrywhiteshoes (2440876) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420881)

I've always been curious, if the TOTAL long-term impact of electric cars during their entire lifecycle is actually better than fuel burning cars. I mean,

1. what happens with the batteries when it's done?
2. what is the cost of building these things?
3. is the manufacturing process cleaner or worse than fuel burning cars?
4. what about the impact on the electric grid? Is there any?
5. Isn't COAL a huge part of our electric grid?
6. Does this increase the dependance on coal?
7. Is there any repercussions from increasing our dependance on coal?

To be honest, I don't know much about these things, but I always wonder about, "Are these GREEN alternatives actually GREEN? Or is it just GREEN on the surface? And what does GREEN really mean?" I really hate political buzz-words, because they never seem to mean what they imply.

Re:Environmental Impact? (1)

Barsteward (969998) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420975)

well, why not research your questions to answer them? Green energy as far as i'm concerned is still at the steam engine stage when compared to current energy production. Once the battery tech improves enough to give you more than 400 miles per charge and they can find away to charge efficiently while driving to extend the charge and batteries become cheaper to produce then these options are for the bigger wallets (and public transport)

Re:Environmental Impact? (2)

Zeussy (868062) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421067)

With battery tech improving (in term of cars), I don't think a lot of people grasp just how energy dense petrol/diesel/fossil fuels truly are, and how poor batteries really are. This chart on wiki really hits it home:
Energy Density chart [wikipedia.org]
I find it quite amusing that fat metabolism is at the same density per litre as petrol, I guess that also shows how amazing evolution is at solving problems, and also why losing weight is so hard. Also the chart shows how energy poor hydrogen is per litre. The alternatives to fossil fuels, really are not that great.

Re:Environmental Impact? (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421147)

it seems our mistake was that we stopped dinosaur production too early.

doh!

Re:Environmental Impact? (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421429)

Firstly, oil is almost entirely old plants and plankton etc, not dinosaurs, but I'm sure you knew that.
Secondly, the problem was we needed to be producing 400 to 500 times of the stuff per year than we were, to keep up with current demand.

Re:Environmental Impact? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421001)

Exactly. You're just switching gasoline for coal. Not better for the environment, likely worse.

Re:Environmental Impact? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421285)

Not where I live numb-nuts. Im so tored of the massive number of people like yourself who proclaim shit they know nothing about. It YOUR attitude that is exactly what's wrong with this country.

We have hydro here, as in lots of places. If you bothered to do any research at all you would discover that even on coal, a Tesla owner is still producing around 40% less carbon emissions than a typical gas driver. Those of us living in states that can take advantage of even cleaner energy-producing resources hit near 0%.

Go read and educate yourself or keep your ignorant opinions to yourself.

Re:Environmental Impact? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421335)

Because carbon emissions is the only negative byproduct of burning coal and hydro power doesn't effect our environment.

Re:Environmental Impact? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421361)

Exactly. You're just switching gasoline for coal. Not better for the environment, likely worse.

Even if you do that switch, there are economies of scale that come into play with regards overall efficiencies and pollution controls (and no I am not a coal shill - I'd prefer other options. Plus just because you use coal now to generate you electricty doesn't mean that 20 years down the track that you are still using coal - yet the electric cars won't know the difference.

Let me sketch it out for you (2)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421469)

The fact that USA is producing much of its electricity from coal is an essentially separate problem from whether EVs are a step in the right direction or not.

With the electricity thing, I would just say: "Stop doing that, morons. It's really bad for the climate and there are practical alternatives, and/or alternatives that you could make practical with 10 years of focused, adequately funded R&D to optimize them."

The thing with an electricity grid and batteries is you can supply them with energy made in many different ways, many of which are not fossil fuel based. The fact that you aren't doing that yet is just an almost criminal level of complacency and laziness.

As soon as you get your electricity generation (and smartgrid and electrical energy conservation) act together, the EVs will be much less environmentally damaging than the ICE vehicles. So they are a step in the right direction.

 

Re:Environmental Impact? (4, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421071)

The idea is to make the consumer portion "green" and non-emissive, because then over time the underlying power generation can be made less polluting or swapped out for entirely new methods of generating power without requiring any "upgrades" or action by the consumer. It is definitely easier to regulate, and probably less expensive and more efficient to implement, emissions control at a handful of large power stations than millions of individual car engines.

Re:Environmental Impact? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421089)

To speak to the electricity supply questions: yes, if nothing changes, greater draw on electricity would have a poor impact on the environment.

But consider that basing a car on electricity decouples the energy source from the device consuming it. You are now free to replace the producer as often as you need to. If we dumped gas and moved to electricity, the focus would broaden to include any and all energy production mechanisms by energy manufacturers (and who knows, novel solutions?) while car manufacturers could focus separately on effficiency.

Overall, more hands on deck, and more opportunities.

Consider as well, that centralizing the production of energy to large power plants should make it easier to maintain lower environmental impact. Even if we just switched to gas power plants for a while, that's a couple of hundred plants to focus on maintaining and filtering and improving vs millions of individual cars and gas stations and depots and such.

Re:Environmental Impact? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421097)

1) batteries are recycled.
2) less than an ICE once the production is up.
3) much cleaner. Less metal. ICE vehicles make heavy use of loads of different ore. Think about an engine and complex transmission (to keep the engine operating in a small RPM range) and all the different parts on it. ICE vehicles are COMPLEX. That is why I dislike parallel hybrids and only accept serial hybrids for large vehicles.
4) electric cars will LOWER the costs of electricity. The reason is that most ppl will charge at night, not during the daytime. Electric companies are already starting to charge differential rates for EC owners. From a utilities POV, they would LOVE to charge all transportation at night, with loads of base power generators and then during the day, have the excess power be used by businesses. Right now, utilities have to add very expensive on-demand generators. BTW, the current grid can handle 100% of ALL road transportation being moved to electric IFF it is done at night charging, and if parts of the northwest grid gets upgrade.
5) Right now, coal is around 38% of USA's matrix. Go to China, and it is around 85%. interestingly, if coal was 100% of our matrix, then all pollutants would drop, EXCEPT for CO2. Oil is not that clean.
6) nope. The smart move though, is to kill burning coal directly, switch to NG/atomic power plants (as well as NG for Commercial vehicles) and then convert our coal to Methane (the main ingredient in NG ) so that we have competition to keep NG prices low. Doing this would allow us time to switch to AE/Atomic, while cleaning up the air, dropping our dependency on imported oil, and even dropping our CO2 emissions (the bulk for USA comes from our low density; switch to electric cars and we can cut something like 25-33% of our CO2). 7) Again, we are dropping our dependency on coal. By 2020, we are expected to be less than 25% coal. And if we move to the above (coal=>methane), then we have no dependency on coal, but instead multiple sources. Ideally, we would re-do our NG pipes to ones that can handle hydrogen (which is expensive) so that in time, we can drop NG and have hydrogen shipped around.

Re:Environmental Impact? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421115)

Right now most of the electricity in the US is made from coal. But, that will probably change in the future. When it does, your "coal powered" electric car will change with it. To be "nuclear powered" or "solar powered" or "fusion powered". It will be a lot easier to change one power plant to sustainable technology than to change the 30,000 cars it supports. I would also prefer to be dependent on coal (produced in the US) or natural gas (also produced in the US) than on oil (less produced in the US).

Oy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421161)

1. Like they are today, batteries can be recycled. And since these batteries are so big and expensive, they will have to be.
2. Does it matter?
3. It will be pretty much the same. The only only significant difference is that power plant. And unlike making engine blocks that require HUGE amounts of energy (melting of the iron/steel and aluminum), I would expect electric to be much cheaper and less energy intensive - sans any rare Earth elements they may use.
4. Yes there's an impact.
5. No. More and more of our power plants are switching to natural gas because it's become cheaper than coal,and it's MUCH more environmentally friendly. Here in the States we are having a Natural Gas boom and for the first time, we are now a net gas EXPORTER - fancy that!
6. No. See #5
7. No, See # 6 & #5.

Re:Environmental Impact? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421211)

Since I recently was in the market for a new car I already researched these exact questions because of a few conversations I had with people.

1. what happens with the batteries when it's done? They get recycled. Batteries in general are among the most recycled products. Also lithium-ion batteries aren't nearly as bad for the environment as lead-acid batteries anyways.
2. what is the cost of building these things? Expensive. The plugin prius costs about $3,000 more than a comparably equipped prius and it only has a 4.4 kwH battery which gives a 10-15 mile all electric range. For the Tesla the base model which starts at $50k after federal tax credits has a 160 mile range with a 40 kwH battery. Going from 40 kwH to 60 kwH increases the range to 230 miles and increases the price by $10,000. Going from a 60 kwH battery to the 85 kwH battery extends the range to 300 miles and bumps the price up another $10,000. The theory behind the federal tax credits for plugin hybrids and all electric cars is that once we hit economies of scale and start making large numbers of lithium-ion batteries the prices will drop significantly. More info on the price of these batteries here: http://www.transportation.anl.gov/pdfs/TA/149.pdf
3. is the manufacturing process cleaner or worse than fuel burning cars? Better. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100830120945.htm
4. what about the impact on the electric grid? Is there any?
5. Isn't COAL a huge part of our electric grid? Yes, coal makes up 49.6% of our power grid currently. But from a cost of fuel and a carbon emissions perspective it's still better to use an electric vehicle even if 50% of the power is from coal. At $0.12/kwH and $3.69 a gallon for gas it's about 4 times as cheap to drive an electric car versus a gas powered one. For carbon emissions see the chart here: http://mediamatters.org/research/201202080012#carbon
6. Does this increase the dependance on coal? It would decrease our dependance on oil slightly and increase our dependance on our other power sources of which coal is a big part of.
7. Is there any repercussions from increasing our dependance on coal? The United States has large deposits of coal. The burning of coal is bad from a carbon emissions standpoint but way less bad than burning gasoline.

Re:Environmental Impact? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421215)

Instead of posting to /. for the mod of others that didn't bother to learn specifics, why don't you bother to go to the TN website and read a little about their tech.... Hrmmmm?

www.teslamotors.com

Re:Environmental Impact? (1)

Imbrondir (2367812) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421313)

1. what happens with the batteries when it's done?

They are recyclable. How efficiently recycled? I don't know, but will likely improve in time.

4. what about the impact on the electric grid? Is there any?

Not as bad as you think. It could even result in a net positive. A big problem today in the electric grid is peak power. The grid is in many places already maxed out during beginning and end of office hours. However during night time the available capacity is huge. Coincidentally most current electric car owner charge their cars during night time.

Also note that many power technologies have big problems adjusting to changing power requirements (like the mentioned peak power). A nuclear power facility for instance takes weeks to adjust power output, and months to shut down. Not to mention its recurring costs are about the same running at 100% as 30%. Imagine everyone had a big power bank in their cars connected to the grid (most of the time). Now people could potentially charge and buy cheaper power during times of excess production, then sell (parts) of it back to the grid during expensive peak power (for a net profit of the car owner). A similar principle applies with unreliable sources such as wind and solar. This would make electricity cheaper for everyone, by reducing waste production.

5. Isn't COAL a huge part of our electric grid?

By choice. In the US. This could be fixed independently. Even if you'd build a power company running on gasoline, this would still be a net gain due to bigger engines being more efficient.

Good luck, but.... (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420885)

The Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt have not been selling well. Ok, technically the Volt also has a gas engine but most people perceive it as an "electric" car. It seems to me that the Tesla will have a very limited audience. Sure, a lot of celebrities will snap them up. Everyday families? I doubt it. Battery technology continues to improve but until we have charging stations along the freeways and parking lots it's going to be tough to market it as an every day car. Americans don't like to be told that you can drive a certain distance and then the fun stops. We want to just fill it up and go. I want these cars to succeed, I really do. But until the Federal Government (yes they can be useful for some things) steps up and starts investing in charging stations and other technologies that all electric cars need to flourish, it's going to difficult to replace gasoline. Hybrids have caught on because the range is unlimited. They provide better economy while still having gasoline as a backup when needed. It's a good compromise between electric propulsion and conventional gasoline driven propulsion. Having said all that I'd love to take the new Tesla for a spin. I bet it's fun to drive.

Re:Good luck, but.... (2)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421023)

Back in March GM suspended production of the Volt and blamed poor sales.

I don't think I would ever buy one a Volt or Leaf. I would consider leasing one though.

Re:Good luck, but.... (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421401)

The Volt isn't a blockbuster seller, but it isn't doing so terrible. They sell more Volts than Corvettes [npr.org] , for example. (I would imagine the margin on Corvettes is much better though).

Re:Good luck, but.... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421169)

First off, the leaf is 100% sold out. And as nissan adds more plant production for it, they are expected to have 100% sales.
Secondly, the gas powered volt WAS selling poorly, but at the time that they cut production, gas prices went up, so GM increased production. I have noticed that I have now seen 2 volts in my area (and we have 2 tesla roadsters here as well).

You assessment of electric and hybrids cars is a bit off. A number of stores (walgreens) are adding high voltage rechargers. Personally, I think that they are the wrong place. Instead, I would try to get attractions (zoos, museums, sporting events, park-n-rides, etc) as well as restaurants along the highways to add these and match them to the needs. For example, I would shoot for 30 minute rechargers at restaurants. OTH, for zoos, museums, sporting events, shoot for 1-3 hours. And park-n-rides? 6-8 hours. Ideally, these would have smart technology where they can drop their charging as demand on the grid increases. For those who MUST have full charge, let them pay more / kw to guarantee that they will have the electricity. For those that can accept a partial charge, then they pay less. All programmed at the meter.

Parallel hybrids are jokes. Bad jokes. They are designed to allow companies to involve all divisions of a normal car company. A serial hybrid makes sense for large vehicles. But for cars? Nope. If you can not accept the range of an electric car, then buy a gas or better yet, a NG car.

Re:Good luck, but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421275)

I think you will be surprised at how quickly the charging stations will pop up once they become necessary. Gas stations make almost no money off of selling gas. They make their profits on chips and drinks and everything else you buy in the store. If you are charging up for 15 minutes, then you are probably more likely to go inside and buy those high-profit items. And all they have to do is install a charging port in front of their parking spaces (and maybe upgrade their electrical service). That will probably be cheaper than or comparable to the cost of installing a gas pump (the Nissan fast charger is $10k). But, more likely, restaurants will buy them to attract customers (keep in mind that at $0.10/kwh, it would cost $8.50 in electricity to full charge your car) and allow you to charge for free if you spend over a certain amount, or just charge you the cost of electricity (initially, the customers who are charging up will be more affluent and thus more likely to spend a lot at the restaurant). But, keep in mind that the average electric car owner will almost never have to use one. They will plug in their car every night when they get home, and drive off in the morning fully charged.

Obvious (1)

jerquiaga (859470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40420927)

"What's a 160-miles-per-charge, $50k car worth to you?" Presumably, $50k.

Why don't they... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40420955)

I always wondered why none of the electric cars ever have a a solar panel on top of the car..

That's a big area. And what's your car doing most of the time. Outside... In the sun... In parking lots. In traffic. Sure it might not fill you up very quick. But it's more than zero... One panel in full sun puts out enough to add a couple more miles to your charge.

The hood, The roof, The trunklid. 3 medium/big panels just sitting in the sun all day long...

You already carry a charge controller and batteries on an electric car. Why not a panel or 3?

Re:Why don't they... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421177)

last time I looked (10 yrs ago) VW had solar panels plugged into the lighter sockets of each of their parked cars, for sale, in the big lots. they had suction cups to connect the panels (like an ipad size, iirc) to the windshields, from the inside. I guess if the cars sat there for a long time, this would keep their battery fresh(er). in fact, I did buy a vw and got one of those panels (they don't usually give them to the customers). this was 10 yrs ago and you could find the panels on ebay, at least at the time ($10 or so, I think).

these would not do much other than maintain the battery; the german batteries and cars don't seem to do well when they sit. I've had vw's and bmw's self-drain by just sitting, so it is really true.

Re:Why don't they... (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421345)

You would get some charge, but at some expense and weight, vehicle height, and maybe aesthetics (important in this market). I'm sure they thought about it, but decided that the small amount of extra charging wasn't worth it.

Re:Why don't they... (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421383)

I always wondered why none of the electric cars ever have a a solar panel on top of the car..

That's a big area. And what's your car doing most of the time. Outside... In the sun... In parking lots. In traffic. Sure it might not fill you up very quick. But it's more than zero... One panel in full sun puts out enough to add a couple more miles to your charge.

The hood, The roof, The trunklid. 3 medium/big panels just sitting in the sun all day long...

You already carry a charge controller and batteries on an electric car. Why not a panel or 3?

You're seriously underestimating the amount of power an electric car uses (or overestimating the output of solar panels). At the moment we simply don't have efficient (or cheap enough) panels to be able to do what you describe economically. The Nissan Leaf has an optional solar panel that mounts onto the roof, but it only runs the radio and other miscellaneous auxiliary electrics. It is nowhere near the output required to effectively charge the traction batteries.

re:tesla delivers first batch (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40420987)

Even with tax supported subsidies, gas isn't cheap.

Gas shill Luddites would have us using a hundred year old technology instead of solving the technological problems that new technology always presents, all the while denying that there can be any negative consequences from any technology filling the coffers of right wing bloviating ignoramuses.

What's it worth to you to keep gas filled blow-hards redistributing money into the hands of cronies preparing the ground with lies and deceit for the next phony yellow cake war of liberation.

Donate your money to Al-Quaeda why don't you; Exxon Mobil, Shell, etc do with their royalty - and I do mean royalty - payments to Wahabi Arabia.

Or not.

If you can't afford the current tesla, wait a little longer; toyota will be using tesla battery technology to introduce an electric suv based on the toyota Rav model.

http://pressroom.toyota.com/releases/toyota+tesla+build+rav4+ev+woodstock+ontario.htm [toyota.com]

tesla has comitted to introducing a 30k+ model X suv by 2015.

http://www.teslamotors.com/modelx [teslamotors.com]

This comment has not been approved by the Ameican Enterprise Institute or the Heritage Foundation, their employees or contractors.

$zero (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421117)

1 car family here. When long road trips anywhere can be supported with 300-400 mile range for a $25K vehicle, then I'll be interested.

Until then, it isn't even good for a commuter car for us. Our commute car needs to handle long trips too. To us, having a 2nd car is wasteful.

Tesla compared to other electric cars and hybrids (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40421425)

I was recently in the market for a new car and I had the chance to research several of the electric and plugin hybrids on the market and test drive them. I'll brain dump some of my research here in case someone else finds it useful.

Tesla Model S - The car looks really awesome, and I loved the styling of it. It is quite expensive with the base model starting at just under $50k after a $7,500 federal tax credit. The big reason I didn't but this was that the base model isn't even out yet. They are manufacturing the signature series first which is the fancier model with the giant 85 kwH battery pack. Also, I live in Arizona which doesn't yet have a Tesla showroom to see/drive the car or a service center to service it. You would have to pay a mechanic per mile to come out and service it. Scottsdale, AZ is getting a showroom and a service station later this year though.

Nissan Leaf - I test drove the leaf, and as with most electric cars this thing was pretty zippy. If you haven't had a chance to test drive an electric car yet I highly recommend trying it. Having 100% of your torque at 0 RPM is very nice. The main disadvantage to the Leaf is the only 100 mile range. I drive between Tucson and Phoenix often enough that this is impractical for me. I would imagine that for many people in large cities or on the east coast where things are closer together this would be more practical.

Chevy Volt - I really like the design of the engine of the Chevy Volt. An electric drive train with a range extending ICE is a good design that I think other plugin hybrids should pick up and run with. You could design the ICE to be optimized to run at a constant RPM and be way more efficient. The electric range on the Volt was between 25-50 miles with an average of 35 miles. This was actually an excellent range for my daily commute of 26 miles. I could in theory have driven the Volt almost entirely on electricity and only used gasoline very rarely. It has a few mechanisms to support using almost no gasoline. First if the gas engine hasn't come on at all in 6 weeks then it will briefly engage the gas engine to make sure everything stays lubricated and in good condition. Also the gas becoming stale in the tank can be an issue. In general you would want to go through a tank of gas at least once a year. Ultimately I didn't like the cargo space on the Volt and the fact that it only seats 4 people as the center rear position is taken up by the battery running down the center of the car.

Great comparison of the Volt vs. the Plugin Prius:
http://gm-volt.com/2012/04/13/cost-per-mile-comparison-2012-volt-vs-2013-prius-plug-in/

Plugin Prius - This was the car I was leaning towards getting for a while. It's probably the most practical of the other cars that I looked into. I was already a fan of the amazing gas mileage the regular Prius gets and it is a tried and tested technology. Even if you never plugged in the vehicle then you could drive it like a regular Prius and get great gas mileage. The cargo space on the Prius is pretty amazing (you can fit a 4x8 sheet of plywood in there). One drawback is that to fit the new batteries in the plugin model they got rid of the spare tire. They give you basically a fancy fix-a-flat and then tell you not to use it because it will damage the tire pressure monitoring system which costs $600 to fix. However the biggest drawback is the price. While it's only about $3,000 more than a comparably equipped regular Prius, you have to get a bunch of options that I didn't care about. The base model plugin Prius starts at $32k with a $2,500 Federal tax credit putting the final cost at $29,500. The base model (Package 2) Prius costs only $24,000. You do get some features like the navigation system, voice activated dialing, and Entune but all of that are worthless options if you have a smart phone. If I could have bought the plugin prius with the package 2 options for only $3k more then I would have done that, but as it stands it would've been $5,500 more for the plugin model. For me driving ~11,000 miles per yer the break even point to make up that $5,500 price difference was 22 years. Even if it was only a $3,000 premium the break even point would have been 12 years, but I would have done that because I'll probably own the vehicle that long and I think it is strategically good to reduce oil consumption.

Some amazing folks over at priuschat.com put together an awesome crowd sourced spreadsheet of real world gas mileage and EV vs. Hybrid mileage.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AptkktKEhdz9dGF0WWdUZEpqWWdJOGhDWlFsWDBUdGc#gid=10

I ended up buying the base package 2 Prius.

I can't even remember to charge my cell phone (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40421447)

The range of these vehicles and the cost are secondary considerations for me - how does it charge? I need a giant electric pad in the garage so I can just drive over it and have the car charge itself, or else at some point I absolutely will forget to charge my car overnight.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>